The following letter was sent to Harford County Executive David Craig. A copy was provided to The Dagger for publication:
Dear Executive Craig,
I am sending you this email to ask you to fully fund the 2013-14 budget for HCPS. HCPS is currently one of the lowest funded school systems in Maryland. I find that disheartening since Harford County is one of the highest counties when looking at per capita income. Your constituents expect and deserve high quality schools, and every year that is what they get. Harford County schools continue to perform extremely well when compared to other counties in the state, even those counties with less money available to fund their schools. But, every year the message to teachers is that they are not valued and their contract is meaningless. If a teacher were to break the contract, there are serious consequences. Yet every year, for four years now, the contract has been broken by the county. I understand that times are tough, yet two things ring true, 1) teachers need and deserve their contract to be respected and honored and 2) HCPS needs funding to continue to provide top notch education. New initiatives, technology, and materials cost a lot of money and the cost of everything goes up each year. Unfortunately, the schools budget and teacher pay remains stagnant. The students and our community suffer in this situation. If the schools can’t provide for student needs, teachers often spend their own money. Now teachers don’t have the money either. Not only is it difficult to provide for their students, it is obvious to say that it is also difficult to provide for themselves and their families.
Teachers are in the classrooms working for children every day. They are ensuring that Harford County schools perform well every day. Please show them that they are respected and valued every day by fully funding the budget.